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Blade Sentry Asn - Need advice for this build

Discussion in 'Assassin' started by Moonflax, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    Blade Sentry Asn - Need advice for this build

    Hello.

    I wanted to make a character who focuses primarily on Blade Sentry, all other skills uses are to suppliment her use of this skill or keep her alive.

    I always create the character with all gear, skills, and stats that I desire in single-player mode so that I can project what my realm character will grow into. It helps me avoid many mistakes from experimentation that could cause me to have to remake the character countless times.

    This is the character so far.

    Vepultra

    Str: 135
    Dex: 20
    Vit: 410
    Eng: 25

    Skills:
    20 Blade Sentry
    20 Blade Shield
    20 Shadow Master
    20 Venom
    20 Cloak Shadows
    (rest are prereqs)

    Blade Sentry: The focus of the build, all damage (from the player character) is dealt with this.

    Blade Shield: Bought to suppliment Venom, it deals Venom's poison damage in additional strikes.

    Shadow Master: Additional meat shield. Cta makes her extra meaty.

    Venom: To add elemental damage to the Blade Sentry

    Cloak of Shadows: Targets are easier when they are standing still. Haha. Also boosts my defense.

    Mercenary: Cold-based Act 2 NM merc. Equipped with "Ber, Ber" CoA, Ethereal Fortitude armor, and a "Pride" runeword to offer my little threesome the benefits of Concentration.

    My Gear:

    Helmet:
    -Harlequin: Can't really think of anything better.

    Amulet:
    -Highlord's Wrath: Offers Deadly Strike, which comes out through Blade Sentries.
    -Mara's: I'm left wanting for resistance. My lowest resistances are at about 30 in Hell with the Highlord's. It could be worse, but it could be much better. Wearing Mara's, the resistances are much nicer, but I lose the DS.

    Armor:
    -Fortitude Archon: I love the Chilling Armor proc, however, the main reason I'm using it is that it boosts my damage, and therefore, boosts my Blade Sentry.
    -Bramble: Boosts poison damage from Venom, also throws Thorns onto all three members of my little posse.

    Shield:
    -Phoenix: Nothing else has cought my eye. Redemption is sweet, and it also adds a chunk of ED, not found on any other shields I can think of.

    Boots:
    -Gore Rider: For 15% Deadly Strike.
    -Shadow Dancer: For the +2 Shadow Diciplines that will boost my Cloak, Venom, and Shadow Master.

    Gloves:
    -Steelrend: Offers a boost of ED to my Sentry damage.
    -Trang'Oul's: Offers a boost to poison damage through Venom

    Rings:
    -Bul-Katho's: No brainer... or am I wrong?

    Belt:
    -Verdungo's: Hard to pass up this character for any character unless they are built for Arachnid's.

    Weapon:
    Now I'm REALLY stumped for a weapon...

    -Rune Master "Lo Lo Lo Lo Lo": Offers 100% Deadly Strike. It has it's own ED so the base damage isn't terrible. A bonus to max resist is also hard to overlook.
    -Azurewrath: Does the Sanctuary aura add undead damage boosts to my Sentry? Also some other neat things about this. I added a "Lo" to it for 20 DS, and I think the 250-500 Cold and Magic damages are delivered with Sentry.
    -GimmerShred: This little thing is loaded with elemental damage. That is the only reason it cought my eye.
    -Grief: I was playing with this until I read that -% enemy resistance does not factor for traps because the game considers traps to be "minions". It supposively has +400 damage, but it doesn't seem to be factoring in. The damage on this just seems horrible, so I ditched it.
    -Widowmaker: I like guided arrows, and a Lo rune bumped this up to 53 Deadly Strike, but I was soon missing the Phoenix shield...

    What other weapons should I look into?

    Any advice about Sentry?

    Any advice about the oddities with Grief?

    Any advice about Sanctuary's relationship to Blade Sentry? As well as mods that add +% Damage to Demons, etc?

    And my biggest quandry seems to be, should I be focusing on %ED or %PD through Venom...?

    Please if you look at this, and have any ideas, don't skip past. I appreciate any feedback at all, even if you aren't totally sure.
     
  2. Yossarian

    Yossarian IncGamers Member

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    Helm
    Orphans set helm

    Weapon
    Eth Death would be a good weapon to look into based on what I just read.

    I think this will be a very though build to play as you state the playing style. BTW 20 points in COS is generally a bad idea as it takes too long to reset. I'd suggest 5 or 6 points and maybe putting a few points in DS to help you out.


    Good Luck.
     
  3. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Actually, what you say about CoS is something I was in the process of noticing. I may go back through on all of my Asn's and knock it back down, although some of my builds maxed it because there wasn't much else to max.]

    I've looked at eth Death and Guillaume's Face. The death's procs won't work with the Sentry, nor will the CB, but it does top out to about 50% Deadly Strike, and since it's eth'able that means it'll have great base damage too. I'll give that a try, it seems like a great option.

    For the Guillaume's I see 15% deadly strike there, and I'm wondering if my helm slot would be better spent covering a weakness, such as my resistance. I also considered putting in Dream so that the lightning damage would be added to the Sentry.

    Any thoughts on that?
     
  4. Silent Shaddow

    Silent Shaddow IncGamers Member

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    for weapon i would say a doom, just bc of the hf... can b a bit annoying with ds but u dont seem 2 have anyways, (u should) and i find is a real life saver for what wont be a real mass dmging char
    -silent
     
  5. Phesto

    Phesto IncGamers Member

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    The problem with Doom is you can't make it in a claw and thus you can't utilize Claw Mastery with your blade skills. This is pretty bad since you won't get the AR, damage or CS.
     
  6. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    I wasn't using a claw anyways, to be honest. None of the elite or runeword claws seemed to be remotely as good for the particular build.

    I'll let you know what I settled on.

    Vepultra:

    Str: 135
    Dex: 20
    Vit: 310
    Eng: 25

    20 B. Sentry, 20 B. Shield, 20 Cloak, 20 S. Master, 20 Venom

    Helm: CoA "Um, Um"
    Chest: "Fortitude" Archon Plate
    Belt: Verdungo's
    Rings: Bul-katho's x2
    Amulet: Highlord's Wrath
    Weapon: "Death" Berserker Axe (ethereal)
    Shield: "Phoenix" Monarch
    Boots: Gore Rider (Promoted)
    Gloves: Steelrend
    Switch W: "Call to Arms" Flail
    Switch S: "Spirit" Shield

    Mercenary:

    Helm: CoA "Ber, Ber" (ethereal)
    Chest: "Fortitude" Armor (ethereal)
    Weapon: "Pride" Cryptic Axe (ethereal)

    Aura: Holy Freeze
    Aura from "Pride": Concentration

    With my trio, if I storm the river of flame, I do pretty well. My damage is a bit light, but I have noticed that I can click right onto the monster and the Sentry will take a very short patrol, hitting the enemy rapidly. Also, if I lay multiple Sentries, their patrols will strike targets together.

    I'm not 100% sure, but it seems like I can hit an enemy many times more with multiple Sentries if they patrol the same target monsters.

    RESPONSES:

    silent shaddow:

    My mercenary uses Holy Freeze, so it isn't needed on my main weapon. He's unseemingly durable, between the Chilling Armor proc on his armor, his 16% PDR, maxed resists, and the BO from my CtA which is on backup, so I have little worries of him dying before I do. I seem to take damage faster.

    Phesto:

    My concern there is does Sentry require AR. You mentioned not getting the benefits of the AR from Claw Mastery. I realize that Blade Fury (shurikens) requires AR or ITD to hit.

    Death does have a 20% bonus to AR.

    I seem to hit with my Sentries regardless of AR. I could try an ITD weapon and see if AR is a factor...

    As for damage, it's hard to say. I'll take another look at the claws and perhaps I may find one that is worth the change in skills and gear to use. My biggest concern would be if it can match the uses of Death, as well as the damage, enough to justify losing the Cloak skill (I know it was said that it takes too long to recharge but the defense effects of it in high levels are really really nice, I just have to wait for it to wear off...).

    I also wonder if the critical strike from the claw mastery would translate to the Sentries.
     
  7. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    I've gone to test some things out.

    I gave myself the full Natalya set, as well as a pair of elite Bartuc's. I also made sure to bring two Natalya's Marks.

    I realized for one, that adding two claws instead of claw-and-shield, did not increase my Sentry damage... therefore losing the shield was not a good idea.

    _____________________

    The benefits of the Natalya setup are...

    (Claw)
    ITD
    +200% Damage to Undead/Demons (I think this might factor into Sentry)

    (Helm)
    20% All Resists
    +20 Str.
    +20 Dex.
    (Stat boosts allow me to put more into Vit.)


    (Full Set)
    50% All Resists
    30% Damage Reduction
    +3 Asn Skills

    _____________________

    My primary setup with Death was...

    (Boots)
    15% Deadly Strike

    (Helm)
    +1 All Skills
    60% All Resists
    30% FHR
    15% Damage Reduction

    (Armor)
    300% Enhanced Damage
    Chilling Armor proc
    30% All Resists
    +148 Life

    (Shield)
    15 Redemption Aura
    +400% Enhanced Damage
    Some increased resistance caps

    (Death)
    20% A/R boost (Only matters if Sentry requires A/R)
    49% Deadly Strike

    OR

    (Bartuc's)
    +2 Asn Skills
    30% FHR
    20% A/R (Only matters if Sentry requires A/R)
    +20 Str.
    +20 Dex.

    --------------------

    I then hit a waypoint, and used my CtA to boost my skills and stats. I also used the waypoint so that I could visibly see the effects of my Mercenary's Concentration aura from his Pride runeword on my character sheet.

    Natalya Setup
    Damage: 1140-1336
    A/R: n/a (ITD - this only matters if Sentry nees A/R to hit.)

    Previous Setup w/ Death
    Damage: 1420-3422
    A/R: 996

    Previous Setup w/ Bartuc's
    Damage: 1110-1669
    A/R: 4576

    Best damage is the Death setup. Best A/R is Natalya's (Hard to beat ITD for A/R...)

    --------------------

    Any thoughts? Opinions?

    My main questions as of right now are...

    -Does Blade Sentry require AR to hit?

    -Does Claw Mastery's critical% carry into Blade Sentry?
     
  8. Phesto

    Phesto IncGamers Member

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    Yes, Blade Sentry requires AR.

    Also you mentioned something about how the claw options don't look that good. Well, at first glance I guess they don't, but add the fact that BS requires AR, thus making CM really valuable, plus the Critical Strike and respectable damage bonus, and the fact that Chaos was literally made for Blade Fury:

    9% Chance To Cast Level 11 Frozen Orb On Striking
    11% Chance To Cast Level 9 Charged Bolt On Striking
    +35% Increased Attack Speed
    +290-340% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Adds 216-471 Magic Damage
    25% Chance of Open Wounds
    +1 To Whirlwind
    +10 To Strength
    +15 Life After Each Demon Kill

    FO and CB would be going off constantly and the magic damage is in rapid fire form, plus the ED and OW, and finally the IAS which not only gives a nice boost to your normal attack, it allows you to set BSs faster.

    Keep in mind that BF is the main weapon in this build, not BS. A 1-point BF does more damage and triggers "on striking" mods as well as Crushing Blow and Open Wounds and the like. It also carriers Venom and leeches, so again it does a serious amount of damage in very little time. It does 3/4 damage while BS does 3/8, and BS doesn't trigger any of those things except for the CS from Claw Mastery (I believe), Venom and a few other mods like elemental damage.

    The damage and mods for BS as well as the other two blade skills are based on your (character's) right (first) weapon.
     
  9. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    Indeed, quite a turn of events.

    Unfortunately, the goal of this build was not to make a Fury Asn. It was to make a Sentry Asn, with all gear and skills to suppliment Sentry to the utmost efficiency.

    It's quite notable how Chaos was made for Fury. I hadn't realized that at all.

    I have a WW Asn (she uses C.Mastery, Dragon Claws (like double swing), B.Shield, Cloak, and Venom). Her gear is entirely different.

    With Vepultra, the focus is on Sentry. Looking over Chaos, I see a respectable Furysin weapon, but I'm not sure what it would do for a Sentrysin (It'll catch on if I ever figure out how to make this build good ^.^)

    What will carry over to Sentry, from what I can tell...

    9% Chance To Cast Level 11 Frozen Orb On Striking
    11% Chance To Cast Level 9 Charged Bolt On Striking
    -->+35% Increased Attack Speed
    -->+290-340% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    -->Adds 216-471 Magic Damage
    25% Chance of Open Wounds
    +1 To Whirlwind
    +10 To Strength
    -->+15 Life After Each Demon Kill

    I struggle to compare this to Death (I was really stroking around the Deadly Strike mod for this build...) except for the simple and crucial matter of A/R, in terms of using Sentry specifically.

    It would appear that there isn't really a weapon in the game that truly glorifies Sentry.

    -Should I search for a non-claw with ITD?

    -Should I try out Chaos and see if it can be comparable to the damage Death offers?

    Though to be terribly honest, even with all the wonderful things my other items were doing, with a ~900 A/R in the use of the Death runeword, even wearing full Nat's sounds good.

    I'll now examine some ITD weapons, as well as comparing Bartuc's and Chaos as options for use with Sentry.

    Any more feedback is much appreciated, your advice is extremely helpful. I may end up writing my own Build FAQ if I can get this right. :jig:

    Edit: I just realized, I could put a Lo into Bartuc's if that is a viable option, for 20% Deadly Strike.
     
  10. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    Minor Update:

    Chaos

    Damage: 1582-2043
    A/R: 4371

    1 Ww (Will I use this? Maybe I am acting like my Sentries...)
    10 Str. (More Vit. as far as I'm concerned)
    216-471 Magic Damage (Should be noticable)
    35% IAS

    Edit: Turned up some runewords with some phrase-searching for ITD

    Famine

    +30% Increased Attack Speed
    +320-370% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Ignore Target's Defense
    Adds 180-200 Magic Damage
    Adds 50-200 Fire Damage
    Adds 51-250 Lightning Damage
    Adds 50-200 Cold Damage
    12% Life Stolen Per Hit
    Prevent Monster Heal
    +10 To Strength

    Destruction

    23% Chance To Cast Level 12 Volcano On Striking
    5% Chance To Cast Level 23 Molten Boulder On Striking
    100% Chance To Cast level 45 Meteor When You Die
    15% Chance To Cast Level 22 Nova On Attack
    +350% Enhanced Damage
    Ignore Target's Defense
    Adds 100-180 Magic Damage
    7% Mana Stolen Per Hit
    20% Chance Of Crushing Blow
    20% Deadly Strike
    Prevent Monster Heal
    +10 To Dexterity

    Last Wish

    6% Chance To Cast Level 11 Fade When Struck
    10% Chance To Cast Level 18 Life Tap On Striking
    20% Chance To Cast Level 20 Charged Bolt On Attack
    Level 17 Might Aura When Equipped
    +330-375% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Ignore Target's Defense
    60-70% Chance of Crushing Blow (varies)
    Prevent Monster Heal
    Hit Blinds Target
    +(0.5 per character level) 0.5-49.5% Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based on Character Level)

    Any thoughts on these?
     
  11. BIGeyedBUG

    BIGeyedBUG IncGamers Member

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    While all the blade skills are AR dependent, Sentinal is the least so in practice. The reason being that it checks to hit every frame (1/25th second.)

    Also note that it doesn't use durability, so if you're careful (and rune rich) there are some possibilities there wouldn't normally be.

    I think you're going to have a hard time making it work at all though as a true primary skill. I know someone who has modded the best possible equipment for testing it--stuff that wouldn't be possible even theoretically on Bnet--and he 's pretty much given up on Sentinal in disgust. And he's a patient, variant build kind of person.

    The main problems are its NextDelay and blade penalty to damage. Even if you soup up the damage to the theoretical max, you can do that damage to an individual target only once per second. With high level Sentinals you can spread out some damage over a lot of the screen, but success in D2 is almost always about stacking and concentrating damage on targets in order to take them out quickly. If a skill doesn't do that, it had better do a ton of area damage to make up for it--for instance Poison Nova.

    Unfortunately, Sentinal doesn't seem to fit the bill.
     
  12. Phesto

    Phesto IncGamers Member

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    Apparently ITD works with BS but not against bosses and uniques and the like. I guess you could go for that but if you can't fiind anything reasonable in rune word form or some other special form then it's not even worth it because you'd have to get ITD plus other relevant mods, which is pretty unlikely if you do it without cheating.

    I really don't know what to say to you about your refusal to use Blade Fury. That's like refusing to use Double Throw with a Throwbarb. I mean not only is BF strictly superior in kill speed, it triggers every special magic effect in the game. BS triggers none of them. BS also doesn't trigger the "on striking" mod, so no Amplify Damage or Chaos, nor does it leech.

    Even beyond all of that, BF is a perfect addition to the way this build should play out in the field:

    A group of monsters approaches
    You set a sentinel so that it spins through the group, stunning them briefly
    You immediately switch to BF and hose them down
    They keep getting stunned by BF and BS spins back and hits them again
    They die really fast
    The end

    Or they just die during the 3rd part. Without BF it'd go more like this:

    Cast Sentinel through group, wait for cooldown
    Cast Sentinel through group, wait for cooldown
    Cast Sentinel through group, wait for cooldown
    And at this point they'd probably still be standing, although BS works fine against small, tightly packed monsters like flayers, and against odd ones like those sand leapers. You just set in right on top of yourself, literally, and do a tiny bit of footwork around it (or just stand still) until you can cast another, and the monsters run into them and get shredded.

    Problem is that against anything that matters BS almost doesn't matter. Against large monsters like those in the Chaos Sanctuary you're generally doing long casts with it just to stun them over and over while you nail them with BF. Against monsters like the imps in A5 BS is practically useless unless you've got a lot of experience with it/prediction skills, and even then BF remains strictly superior (CoS and BF in this case).

    Ultimately though BS is usually used by setting it to go long, spinning through whatever group of monsters is approaching you, one time, just to set them up for CoS/BF or just BF.

    So far I've played one variant to about level 53 on P1 in singleplayer and another which I'm currently playing on P8 which is at level 33. Both weren't tweaked at all.

    I can e-mail you my character files if you'd like. That way you can see my gear and skill point allocation and see what I had in mind.

    And edit: Destruction over those other ones, easily.
     
  13. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    I see your point.

    Well, I'm a collector of sorts, when it comes to odd builds, and that is why I've come to this one. A few other builds that have baffled me:

    Cold Armors Sorc
    Golemancer
    Pure Curse/Melee Necro
    Passive/Valkyrie Zon

    Back on topic, though. I know what you mean about the delays and such, but I seem to do alright even with what I currently have, although it requires help from my Mercenary and Shadow Master, I do alright. It's just a matter of figuring out what is the best.

    But as you can see from the above list, I have other characters who are closer to lost causes than this one.

    Oh, did I mention a character I tried to focus around Psychic Hammer?

    All time worst, that one... good at pinning people down in pvp for someone else to kill them, though.
     
  14. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    Phesto:

    That sounds good.

    And while I see that your main point is that I should use Fury, A character using fury should build around Fury, and will thus, not be fully built around Sentry. In other words, if I wanted to play a Fury Asn, I'd just play that and not worry about Sentry. Thats one of the challenges I take when I play this game, to make oddball designs work, if any at all.The reason I'm refusing to use Fury is that I have another Asn for that... in fact when playing a Furysin, I'm looking at different mods altogether, i.e. procs.

    I think I may try some of these other runewords, Famine, Destruction, and Last Wish.

    I'm not terribly worried about ITD not being effective against super-uniques, because I usually fight them on a very one-err... three-on-one basis. As said above by BIGeyedBUG, Sentry checks to strike again rapidly.

    If Im fighting but a single target, he's getting poked by my mercenary, and my shadow, while I place five short-patrol Sentries, so in other words, he or she gets hit very rapidly.

    That is when I see this skill in best effect, to be honest, when I'm fighting a single target that I can barrage with all of my Sentries.
     
  15. Phesto

    Phesto IncGamers Member

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    Basically that's the deal with Sentinel. It needs to be maxed for the long duration so that you can get a lot of them going at the same time. Now alone it's not really that great, mainly because of the delay in damage, but that's where Blade Fury comes in. These skills are supposed to be used together, it's just obvious when you've played one of these builds long enough.
     
  16. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    This being the case, I'll make note and make sure my Furysin maxes Sentry to cause hesitations in enemy ranks and make them easier targets. My gear however, will be different for the Furysin. I think. At least where weapon is concerned, and I'll be looking for those "on striking" effects.
     
  17. Phesto

    Phesto IncGamers Member

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    Realistically you can't make a BS build without BF because of BS's delay in casting, and even worse, its delay in damage. You could have maxed duration and it makes no difference in how many sentinels you have spinning through a monster because the damage is dealt once per second, so more blades = almost irrelevant, just like the damage (no matter how hard you try, and this is basically all BS has).

    It's just obvious that when they made this character and playtested it these skills were intended to be used in unison.
     
  18. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    I see.

    Well, as I said, I'm able to kill things in hell, so comparing it to some of my other builds, It isn't anywhere near as inept as it could be.

    I could be trying to kill things with a clay golem. ^.^

    I checked out those three ITD runewords I mentioned.

    (Famine)
    Damage: 1853-2949
    *Good elemental damage
    PMH

    (Destruction)
    Didn't do it. Only sword available is a Phase Blade, which would yield horrible base damage for the Sentries.

    (Last Wish)
    Damage: 1501-3515
    17 Might Aura
    PMH
    Blind Target

    Im considering merging my Sentry and Fury builds, I was going to use Sentry for the uses you mentioned above anyways, but I really wanted a character who can make Sentry work on it's own. I seem to be able to do this. It's more challenging, but far from impossible.

    Perhaps I should test her with a Baal run. Her Merc and shadow also benefit from the Might aura, so that seems to be a great choice, though to be honest, it dawned on me as I made the weapon that it's also the recommended weapon for Furysin..
     
  19. Moonflax

    Moonflax IncGamers Member

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    Using Last Wish, I just did a Baal run.

    This build had no issues reaching Baal, clearing his minions, and staying alive. I had to throw a few potions at the merc, but neither he nor I died.

    Baal was another story. I am able to damage him, but it's very gradual. Must have loads of hp.

    Well anyways, a truly useless character wouldn't be able to even kill the monsters on the way to Baal in Hell difficulty, so I'm happy about this character.
     
  20. Phesto

    Phesto IncGamers Member

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    It's not impossible because you'll just happen to have a) a good merc with you all the time, b) a maxed master with you all the time and c) some high level rune word with an aura or something like that. So it's no wonder how it'll "work." Sadly I think it'll just be an illusion.

    I took the following from here: http://s94360530.onlinehome.us/d2/assassin-faq17.htm

    "There seems to be a penalty of about 50% of a weapons physical and perhaps elemental damage when using two handed weapons even though it doesn't show up in the character info screen. Not sure if the penalty or the fact it is not displayed properly is the glitch/bug.

    Due to the penalty with two handed weapons and as there is no reliable way to increase your attack rating when using anything other than claws, claws are still your best option. A good damage claw with high level Claw Mastery will do pretty good damage with Blade Sentinel and Blade Fury.

    Only way two handed weapons might work is if you had some big elite ethereal weapon then stuffed a rune word like Hand of Justice or Breath of the Dying in it and had plenty of items that boosted your attack rating. Builds working around blade skills may work then but it's certainly harder to get those than usable claws and means you can't block. Mind you a Chaos (another rune word) claw would be better than either of those in such builds anyhow."

    Old and possibly wrong but I thought it'd be of interest. As far as BF and Last Wish goes...well, now you're back to BF so your weapon options change in a hurry.

    I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to just use Chaos, especially now that you're back to using BF. ED, AR and CS from CM; crazy delivery for magic damage and OW, and near-constant FO and CB on striking...Frozen Orb....

    If you took out BS and used those points in Mind Blast or something, along with the same gear you have now, your kill speed probably wouldn't change much.
     

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